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Dec 13

Pray for Chekhov: Or, What Russian Literature Can Teach Conservatives

~ A Russell Kirk Lecture ~

As we approach the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, Russian history seems all the more pertinent. The classic period of Russian culture can be described as an extended argument between the great writers and the radical intelligentsia, between Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov on the one hand, and the forerunners of Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin on the other. As one critic has observed, “the surest gauge of the greatness of a Russian writer is the extent of his hatred for the intelligentsia.” The terms of the Russian debate are still very much with us, and if we are to avoid its sorry outcome, we should learn from the Russian literary masters. 

Gary Saul Morson, noted literary critic and author, currently serves as the Lawrence B. Dumas Professor of the Arts and Humanities at Northwestern University where he teaches Russian Literature.  The author of several books, his work ranges over a variety of areas including Russian and European thought, literary theory, and his favorite writers – Chekhov, Gogol, and, above all, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. His “Introduction to Russian Literature” course regularly attracts up to 500 students, making it one of the most popular elective courses at Northwestern.

More About the Speakers

Gary Saul Morson
Lawrence B. Dumas Professor of the Arts and Humanities, Northwestern University

Hosted By

David Azerrad, Ph.D. David Azerrad, Ph.D.

Director, B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics and AWC Family Foundation Fellow Read More